The Danish flag was flirting with the wind that evening as my friends and I discussed where to have dinner. We had seen this restaurant before — on our first afternoon — and our initial impression was good. The day before, we were just enjoying the view of Bacuit Bay when we were approached and greeted by a Danish man, who owns and runs the place.
“My name is Ole,” he said to us. “Are you looking for good food? I can show you our freshest catch of the day!”
Ole Jakobsen had a sweet, friendly smile and he was really accommodating. Unfortunately, the Happy Hour sign hanging in front of the restaurant next to his was too tempting for us to pass up. We had to decline Ole’s fresh catch that day but we promised him to be back the day after.
The day had come. We were surprised how packed the place was that night. There seemed to be no available tables. But Ole walked towards us as soon as he saw us approaching and led us to the second floor (balcony set-up) and gave us a table for seven. Unlike some of the more popular restaurants in town, El Nido Corner does not have a live band or play loud music. Candles and faint lamps illuminate the place — a nice, practical touch. The atmosphere really allows customers to enjoy nature especially when one hears the sound of the waves rolling only a few feet away.
When we were handed the menu, the first impression we had was that it was pricier than most restaurants in El Nido but we hoped that the food and service would be worth it. It took us so long to pick a dish because everything on that menu sounded delicious. At one point, I whipped out my phone to check in to Foursquare and found a tip that the “Fish with Butter and Herbs” was really great and the poster sounded really excited recommending it. And then another commenter replied and said it wasn’t that great. I was sooo intrigued so that’s exactly what I ordered and rice and fried potatoes, which I shared with two of my travel buddies to divide the cost.
Several minutes later, the food was served and without saying anything, we just dug in. It was that automatic.
The first thing we noticed was that each plate came with a slice of watermelon, which was a pretty welcome surprise because I looooove watermelons.
There was nothing spectacular about the Fried Potatoes. It was simply potatoes cut and fried. But I liked how it was perfectly cooked. The potatoes were soft and tender but not mushy. It wasn’t crispy like French Fries. It was just right. You know they’re real potatoes and not some powder whatever shit we usually see at the supermarket. I actually liked it very much. And of course, it’s fried so it’s a little oily.
Now, the main course — Fish with butter and herbs. It was AWESOME. At first glance, it was just an ordinary cut of fish — no garnish at all. But from the get-go, I knew the fish was fresh. It looked and smelled fresh. There was no nasty smell to it or anything. The butter and the herbs made it so much appetizing. The aromas were mixing beautifully straight to my nostrils. I should have ordered one for myself alone was all I was thinking that time. Haha.
It was war when we tasted it. All three of us loved, loved it. And remember, we’re sharing ONE serving of the dish. We didn’t know what kind of fish it was but we didn’t care because it just tasted so good. The meat was soft and each bite was flavorful. In minutes, the fish was gone. We were left with the butter and herbs mixture on the plate yet we continued eating. It tasted really good that I had to pour my rice on the plate and let the flavor of the butter and herbs mix with the rice.
Overall, it was a great dining experience. As we left the place, Ole was going around, hopping from one table to another with a plate with two fish on it. “These are today’s fresh catch,” he said to customers who seemed to be enjoying not just the place but the hospitality of its owner.